New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.12: The Karate Kid is “Goin’ Back to Jersey…to Jersey”

In 1989, The Karate Kid starred in his own short lived animated series. In the 2nd episode, Homecoming, Danielson heads back to his home state of New Jersey to search for a mystical shrine. Sadly, there’s no sign of Johnny Lawrence aka the legendary William Zabka. Although all isn’t lost, since much of the episode’s action takes place at an amusement park. As far as I know there are no amusement parks in Newark, so who knows? Maybe they were at Six Flags Great Adventure?

It was announced last week that a new Karate Kid film may go into production starring Will Smith’s son Jaden.

Finding this video on Hulu was a big score. If you haven’t visited Hulu then get on it! I signed up when it was in beta and it was well worth it. Hulu is my first stop for SNL sketches, full length movies, and TV episodes. It gets me caught up on shows and some ’80s classics during my lunch hour at work.

Rock and Roll All Nite and Scooby Every Doo!

For me, one of the appealing nuances of Scooby Doo was how the show incorporated reality by featuring real life guest celebrities. The Scooby Doo movies captured that idea superbly featuring everyone from the Monkees’ Davy Jones to Sonny & Cher. More recently, the episode of What‘s New Scooby New, “A Scooby Doo Halloween” features KISS’ Paul Stanley lending his voice to an animated version of himself. The gang is on another adventure in the Mystery Machine when Shaggy explains how excited he can’t wait to be “Rockin’ with KISS.”


Here KISS is playing a masquerade ball in honor of Banning Junction’s 100th anniversary. The animated KISS performs “Shout It Out Loud” which naturally gets interrupted by a wacky ghost chase.

ACE: What should we do?
PAUL: What we always do, keep playin ’til the cops come!


Shaggy: Im going to ask Paul Stanley to sign my forehad!
Scooby: Me too!


The gang also has a run in with some rabid robotic pumpkin headed scarecrows who shoot flames from their eyeholes and wield sickles!


Scooby certainly has other quasi-KISS ties. While “the phantom” in the episode of The Scooby Doo Show entitled “The Diabolical Disc Demon” isn’t referred to as Gene Simmons, his appearance is blatantly similar. Think of him as Gene Simmons with flaming hair and an Evel Knievel costume.


The gang goes to watch their friend Jimmy Lewis record in the studio at Decade records. They find out that songwriter Tony Signs has disappeared. He mysteriously left a song behind that he wrote.


FRED: What’s this about a phantom Jimmy?
JIMMY: It’s just a legend Fred. Something about a ghostly musician who wanders these
corridors seeking vengeance against those who ruined his career.

Even though he’s simply referred to as “The Phantom,” I can’t help but think about how KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM OF THE PARK was also produced by Hanna Barbera. Did they have a hard on for KISS or what? How much ass would a Hanna Barbera KISS cartoon kick? I know I sure as hell wouldn’t mind watching one right now.


Here “The Phantom” looks like he’s doing the Ickey Shuffle until he’s found out to be washed up glam rocker Ace Decade. As for Scooby, a paper airplane made from sheet music saved his ass this time.


New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol. 3: Extreme Ghostbusters “The Jersey Devil Made Me Do It”

Living without any form of Ghostbusters for the last 11 years has been difficult. Even though Extreme Ghosbusters didn’t feature the original team, it was good enough for me just to know that some variety of Ghostbusters was still being created. I used to miss the episodes though because they aired at a period of time when I was taking advantage of sleeping past 9 or 10 AM on the weekends.
The Sexy Armpit hails The Extreme Ghostbusters episode “The Jersey Devil Made Me Do It.” It’s a mystery to me why their hasn’t been a big budget horror film based off the Jersey Devil, our local legend. There’s been a few movies (Last Broadcast, 13th Child, and Satan’s Playground) based off the Jersey Devil and loads of books and documentaries but not much else. Growing up in New Jersey, and knowing this creature haunted the Pine Barrens in South Jersey for hundreds of years, pretty much scared the crap out of us all when were were kids.
In this Extreme G.B episode, the gang is on a trip to a paranormal conference in Atlantic City. The crew mentions they are in the “middle of nowhere,” which is pretty much accurate since that’s how it feels when you’re riding through the Pine Barrens on your way to A.C. They paint South Jersey to pretty much be a hicksville and that’s basically what it is. If you’re visiting parts of South Jersey that aren’t located near the shore, it feels like the in-bred mutants from the movie Wrong Turn are going to come out of nowhere and try to eat you. The town they reference in the episode, “Hanover,” is actually in North Jersey. Even though the Ghostbusters were traveling from New York, they wouldn’t head all the way to Hanover to go all the way down to A.C. They probably just used the name for the episode.
And YES, there’s more to the Jersey Devil than just “the hockey team.” According to the episode the Jersey Devil is “…Jersey’s most famous native after that Springsteen kid…” Regardless of his fame they should’ve kept his appearance under wraps for a little while longer. We get to see what he looks like right from the start of the episode. How about a shot of his tail, then later a glimpse of his wing? The Devil’s appearance was freaky but it was too large and overly demonic looking. Also, most of the legends would describe him as unable to fly well, even though many accounts said that he did have wings. It wasn’t as if he was always in flight, he did more of a jump with some occasional wing flapping. Not that I know from experience or anything! The Jersey Devil in this episode looked more like a mix of a dragon and a pig or rhinoceros.
I haven’t watched this series since it first aired in ’97 and it just made me more anxious for a Ghostbusters series. I guess I’ll just have to wait for the PS3 game! Be sure to listen for a callback to Venkman in the first Ghostbusters movie: “Nice Shooting Tex.” Oh and in case you were wondering, Janine Melnitz wasn’t as hot in the Extreme Ghostbusters series.

Scooby Doo Meets Batman and Robin

You know how Vince Vaughn was making balloon animals in Wedding Crashers? Well I can’t pull off a neat trick like that so I decided to have some fun with speech balloons and the old Scooby Doo movies featuring the Scooby gang’s encounters with Batman and Robin. Perhaps the only other Scooby Doo movies I enjoyed as much as the ones with Batman and Robin are those featuring Phyllis Diller and Don Knotts. I enjoyed them because even though the animation was simple, their cartoon counterparts were faithful representations of themselves. I’d love to see Adult Swim start making modern day Scooby Doo movies but with adult humor where the audience gets the joke sort of in the comedy vain of Harvey Birdman, Frisky Dingo, and The Venture Brothers to name a few. Wouldn’t it be great if we could watch Scooby Doo meets Jack Black late on a Friday night? How about Scooby Doo meets The Foo Fighters? That would be hysterical! Adult Swim are you writing all this down? You better be…

From Bat-Bots to Bat-Pods

With the latest picture released of Batman’s new modified costume in next summer’s The Dark Knight, I figured I’d weigh in on something Batman related. If you aren’t aware I’m a Bat-freak and have been since the Super-Friends. The latest animated incarnation that debuted a few years ago called “The Batman” has it’s pros and cons. After 4 seasons I’m not completely sold on the show although I do enjoy it.

First, the CONS: The way the show portrays classic characters like The Joker, Penguin, and The Riddler doesn’t really live up to my expectations of what they should be like. When I say “what they should be like” is of course a matter of opinion. Batgirl was introduced in the 3rd season (before Robin???) and I don’t know if I like her costume too much, it’s kind of odd. I also can’t stand the show’s new theme song (not the original one by Edge, the newer one) it sounds so much like a mix of James Bond and Hawaii Five-O. Like Carlito says: It’s not cool. It’s upbeat but not Batman-esque. Lastly, I can’t say enough awful things about the Bat-Bot suit that Batman used in a couple of episodes.

Onto the Pros. The plots are interesting, pacing is fast, and the dialouge is well written. Other than that the animation quality, voice acting, and the Batmobile are all top notch.

I can’t wait for The Dark Knight next summer but I was a little put off by seeing pictures of the “Bat-Pod” as if the Bat-Bot wasn’t bad enough! Can’t we just give this guy his classic Batcycle? All vehicle modifications aside, with Anthony Michael Hall, and Eric Roberts part of the cast this movie is shaping up to be the best Batman yet.